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Revista Brasileira de Otorrinolaringologia

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CHAVEIRO, Neuma; PORTO, Celmo Celeno  and  BARBOSA, Maria Alves. The relation between deaf patients and the doctor. Rev. Bras. Otorrinolaringol. [online]. 2009, vol.75, n.1, pp.147-150. ISSN 0034-7299.

Non-verbal communication is important when caring for deaf patients, fostering excellence in health care. AIM: an analysis of the legal and sociocultural aspects of the relation between deaf patients and physicians. METHODS: Computerized databases for the period between 1996 and 2006 were used for collecting data; the keywords "patient", "deaf person", "communication" and "health" were used. A non-systematic search was made in scientific publications. RESULTS: These studies were grouped into two categories: communication between deaf patients and physicians, who has to deal with communication barriers when caring for deaf patients, and the importance of non-verbal communication in healthcare. Deaf persons, their language, and their relation with physicians show the importance of sign language, endorsed by the Federal Law 10.436/02. CONCLUSIONS: When deaf patients and physicians meet, they need to overcome communication barriers that may hinder the necessary bond in healthcare and the care that is provided; this may also affect the diagnosis and treatment. It is clear that public institutions should create programs for training healthcare professionals in the appropriate care of deaf patients.

Keywords : communication; sign language; hearing-impaired persons; relation between physician and patient; deafness.

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